What Are the Penalties for Resisting Arrest?
By Jonathan Blecher on June 4, 2018
Are you facing charges for resisting arrest in Florida? If so, you’re probably wondering about the penalties involved. For starters, you should know that resisting arrest is broken into two offenses: resisting arrest with and without violence. Understandably, the penalties are harsher if you used violence against the arresting officer.
Resisting an arrest without violence is covered under Section 843.02 of the Florida Statutes. Under Sec. 843.02, you can be charged with this offense if you resist an arrest from any of the following officers:
- County probation officer
- Probation supervisor
- Employee of the Department of Law Enforcement
- Anyone else who is legally authorized to execute an arrest
Anyone who resists arrest under Sec. 843.02 without violence, is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by up to one year in jail and by a fine not to exceed $1,000.
Often, arrestees are slapped with this charge when they argue with the officer about being arrested, when they hesitate, or when they run from the police. In all of these cases, the defendant technically “obstructed justice” by getting in the way of law enforcement, and in effect, they can be prosecuted for not “giving in easily” to the arrest.
Resisting Arrest with Violence
The offense of resisting arrest with violence is criminalized under Section 843.01 of the Florida Statutes. Under this section, whenever you resist a probation officer or supervisor, a member of law enforcement, or someone else authorized to arrest you, and you use violence against that person, you are guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable by up to five years in prison, and by a fine not to exceed $5,000.
As you can see, things can escalate quickly if you use any sort of violence when an officer is trying to arrest you. Kicking, hitting, shoving, punching – these are all considered violent acts and if you use violence against an officer during an arrest, it can lead to felony charges.